Heading into Spring practice, it looked like Florida football filled all its gaps along the offensive line. After Michael Tarquin and Ethan White departed for Southern California, Billy Napier and crew grabbed Dameion George from Alabama, Kiyaunta Goodwin from Kentucky, and Micah Mazzccua from Baylor.
Mazzccua was the most promising on paper, having been a mainstay along Baylor’sn offensive line and regarded as one of the top offensive linemen in the Big 12.
But news broke yesterday that Mazzccua will be reentering the transfer portal. Cue Grandpa from the Simpsons walking in and out of the bar. So it does beg the question, what exactly happened with Mazzccua?
Florida Football: Gone in 60 seconds
We say this all the time, but we here at Hail Florida Hail are not insiders regarding Florida football. The thing is, even the insiders seem to be caught off guard by Mazzccua’s departure.
Interestingly, he tweeted out a brief statement, then deleted it. All he has right now is a peace sign. Technically speaking, the portal doesn’t reopen until May.
And now the word is trickling out of Gator camp that Florida coaches are trying to mend the situation, whatever it may be.
In a press conference two weeks ago, offensive line coach Rob Sale said that Mazzccua was slated to be a starter. Strength coach Mark Hocke was singing his praises as well.
So what happened?
The rumor is that Mazzccua tore his labrum, which potentially would keep him out of the 2023 season anyway. Other rumors flying around include cultural fit, issues similar to what he had at Baylor, and NIL issues.
Until Napier gives us the real story, it’s all just rumors. But Mazzccua’s potential departure isn’t the first time Florida has lost a player during Spring camp before they even took a snap in a Gator uniform. Chris Steele notably left during Spring camp in 2019 after a combination of homesickness and issues with his dormmate.
Whatever the reason, it leaves Florida with another gap to fill. For those keeping score, if Mazzccua leaves, the Gators are up to three potential starters along the offensive line that will suit up elsewhere (White, Tarquin, Mazzccua). On paper, Goodwin is the next man up, but he is a tackle where, whereas Mazzccua is a guard. And Austin Barber and Dameion George are also tackles, so either someone has to move, or Florida will go deep on the depth chart to find a guard.
Losing Mazzccua is a blow to the Florida Gators. The only silver lining is that Sale and Napier have time to figure out the solution.